NEW YORK (Business Wire) — During the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties , American Express announced new initiatives to build on its commitment to advance climate solutions.
To help fight the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable populations across Asia and Africa, the company has partnered with Save the Children UK to develop and execute programs that engage youth to help reduce food insecurity exacerbated by climate change, support climate-resilient economic development and skills training through green job opportunities, and strengthen early warning systems to help these communities better prepare for extreme weather events, among other initiatives. As part of these activities, the American Express Foundation is providing a $600,000 grant to Save the Children UK to support its Adolescent Skills for Successful Transition program to educated youth on sustainable practices and products, and fund the development of its Green Climate Fund pipeline to develop youth-led climate adaptation projects.
In addition, American Express is supporting efforts to advance the travel industry’s transition to a sustainable and low-carbon future. The company has joined the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition which is focused on transitioning to sustainable aviation fuels and achieving carbon neutral air travel across the aviation sector. American Express has joined the Forum’s Global Future Council on Sustainable Tourism, which includes government; business; and academic leaders, to advance innovation on inclusive and sustainable tourism.
“Meeting the ambitious targets in the path to net-zero aviation requires all actors in the ecosystem to take action. The role of financial institutions, especially those such as American Express with a broad footprint in travel, is crucial to overcoming some of the challenges and barriers to achieving a sustainable future for the industry,” said Lauren Uppink Calderwood, Head of Aviation, Travel and Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum.
“As part of American Express’ commitment to advancing climate solutions as a core pillar of our Environmental, Social, and Governance strategy, we are focused on helping build more climate-resilient and equitable communities,” said Madge Thomas, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at American Express. “In our partnership with Save the Children, we plan to co-create innovative approaches to combat the effects of climate change in some of the most vulnerable communities in the world through programs that empower young people and support sustainable economic development opportunities.”
The financial support for Save the Children is part of American Express’ commitment to provide at least $10 million in philanthropic funding to support climate initiatives, partnerships, and programs from 2021 through 2025. The company will become a key seed funder for projects that Save the Children is developing for submission to the Green Climate Fund with partner governments in Ethiopia, Malawi, Somalia, and Sierra Leone.
“Save the Children is committed to supporting children and communities who are on the frontline of the climate crisis. Our partnership with American Express is expected to enable us to scale up innovative climate solutions in communities most impacted by the climate emergency,” said Caroline Whatley, Director of Partnerships at Save the Children. “We look forward to working with American Express to ensure young people can develop their own climate resilient communities and create more sustainable pathways for the next generation.”
American Express also announced in September that it has committed to net-zero emissions by 2035, in alignment with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) methodology and its ambitious objective of limiting global warming to 1.5oC, a critical target set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.
To learn more about American Express’ sustainability initiatives and overall ESG strategy, visit the company’s 2020-2021 ESG report.